Connecting people with strategy

Achieving successful technology change with the Business Connection Model.

At this year’s Dynamics Day, Leah Fisher, Founding Director and Head of Operations, ON-Brand Partners, led a very popular session on the importance of people in the technology change equation and introduced the audience to the Business Connection Model, a tool for ensuring organisational change success.

Here we’ve summarised some of Leah’s key takeaways for successful, people-centred change. You’ll also find a link at the end of this article where you can take the opportunity to complete a survey and receive a free report, based on the Business Connection Model, assessing your organisation’s technology change readiness.

Only 26% of a survey respondents say they have been successful at both improving performance and equipping the organisation to sustain improvements

People first, technology second

Traditionally, we look at technology then define it, think about our processes and then – finally – consider the people who operate and use this technology. We need to turn that on its head. Technology is amazing but we often bring the people part in at the end.

But how do we make the people connection? And when should we make it?

The biggest challenge with change is engaging people so that they want to make the change.

What drives our behaviours as human beings? What are the training programmes we’ve been on? Our mindset is what drives our behaviour. Understanding the mindset helps us work out what will encourage us or get in the way. Customer/Collaboration/Ability to Change/Curiosity are the four mindsets worth understanding. Think about the mindsets and your own organisation and think about the mindsets that have got in the way of a successful transition to a new technology.

The central change challenge is not strategy, not systems, not processes - it's changing people's behaviour

What sort of mindsets get in the way? “It’s always been that way!” “Will I lose my job?” “We tried that before and it didn’t work!” “It’s too expensive!”

How do you change a mindset? That’s the tough question. Mindsets develop over a period of time (mindsets) and become entrenched.

Getting started

We look at the arena of successful coaching and counselling. They may well know the answer but don’t give it – they ask questions and get you involved in the discussion. They know that if you arrive at the answer yourself you’re more likely to use it. The “Aha” moment actually rewires our brain. We also focus on the use of story, use stories that reinforce the taking of action and the making of momentum. This gives people confidence. Start your meeting off with a positive story about what is working – focus on can-do not can’t.

Start your meeting off with a positive story about what is working – focus on can-do not can’t.

The Business Connection Model

To achieve successful change it’s important to connect people to the business and get them to understand the difference they make.

To achieve successful change it’s important to connect people to the business and get them to understand the difference they make, remembering that an organisation is a group of people that come together to add value.

There are five questions to ask here:


1. What are we aiming for?
2. How will we do it?
3. What’s my role?
4. How are we doing?
5. Are we serious about this or are we just talking about it?

When we think about these five questions often we are good at asking them from a logical position. But we need to remember that people just aren’t that logical and therefore logic isn’t always – or is hardly ever – the key to engagement.

A strong focus on people, leadership and culture is the key to successful transformation.

What should we be focusing on to ensure transformation success?

A strong focus on people, leadership and culture is the key to successful transformation.

Success factors include:

  • Driving the change from inside the business (embed mostly within BAU).
  • Engaging everyone in a collaborative way throughout the change process.
  • Explicitly identifying the underlying mindsets required for success.
  • Focusing on successes (strengths and achievements) during the change, at least as much as focusing on the problems.
  • Building management capability during the change. This has proved to be particularly important in sustaining the change.

 

Source: McKinsey & Co. What successful transformations share, 2010

How ready is your organisation for technology change? 

How ready is your organisation for the level of technology-enabled transformation you'd like to achieve? Take the survey and get a free report on your organisational readiness using the Business Connection Model.

Intergen and ON-Brand Partners can help you find out. Sign up here and we will email you a link to an online survey to be completed by you and those responsible for technology change in your organisation. The more people in your organisation that complete the survey the better.

Once we've received your survey results, we'll compile and provide you with a findings report unique to your organisation, covering:

• How connected you are to the business from three perspectives - logical, emotional and brand
• Steps you can take to strengthen your connection and
• some recommended conversations and tools to help build engagement with your initiative 

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